There is a start and there is an end. In between, the biggest show on earth...
Re-live opening and closing ceremonies from the Olympic Games. From Barcelona's Archer to Muhammad Ali. From Li Ning walking on air to Sir Paul McCartney. Simply the best.
Steering away from clichés
The cauldron was lit by marathon runner and Pierre de Coubertin medallist Vanderlei de Lima.
Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony
Norwegian musician Kygo performed 'Carry Me' together with Julia Michaels.
Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony
A love letter to Britain
Paul McCartney's performance came at the end of Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle's opening ceremony.
London 2012 Opening Ceremony
The final act of the closing ceremony was The Who. They performed a medley including 'My Generation'.
London 2012 Closing Ceremony
A breathtaking spectacle
The 'Prince of Gymnastics' Li Ning had the honour of being the last torchbearer – the person lighting the Olympic cauldron. The image of him flying around the perimeter of the Bird’s Nest stadium is unforgettable.
Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony
The ceremony started with a 28-second countdown: one second per Olympics held since Athens 1896. The countdwon was paced by the sounds of an amtbplified heartbeat played by two drummers: one located inside the stadium, the other one located in the ancient stadium of Olympia.
Athens 2004 Opening Ceremony
Best Olympic Games ever?
In 2015, the suit Cathy Freeman wore when she lit the Olympic cauldron was found and returned to her after going missing the night of the ceremony.
Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony
100 years later
Canadian singer Céline Dion performed the song "The Power of the Dream". She was accompanied by David Foster on the piano, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Centennial Choir.
Atlanta 1996 Closing Ceremony
Before and after
The Olympic flame cauldron was lit by a flaming arrow, shot by Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo in what is one of the most memorable torch lightings of the modern Olympics.
Barcelona 1992 Opening Ceremony
A coming-out party
76-year-old Sohn Kee-Chung, the first Korean to win an Olympic medal, brought the torch into the stadium. He won marathon gold at Berlin 1936 Berlin, but as Korea was under Japanese rule, he was a member of the Japanese delegation.
Seoul 1988 Opening Ceremony
Keep going back
Check out our Olympic Story!
The history of the Olympic Games told through facts and figures, medals and mascots, and much, much more.
Olympic Story - Summer Games
Cassius Clay – more famously known as Muhammad Ali – first came to international prominence by winning Light-Heavyweight gold at Rome 1960. It was the start of a phenomenal career in which his outrageous boxing talents were matched by his charisma, showmanship and worldwide popularity.
A star is born
From Russia with love
Twenty-two tonnes of fireworks were lit during a show that lasted just under three hours.
Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony
More than 7,000 people took part in the performance and more than 43,000 scenic elements were used.
Sochi 2014 Closing Ceremony
The landscape of a dream
K.D. Lang performed a version of Leonard Cohen's masterpiece Hallelujah. While she was singing, doves were projected on the stage floor.
Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony
Passion lives here
Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti ended the ceremony by singing Giacomo Puccini's aria Nessun Dorma from the opera Turandot, which ends with the victorious line "At dawn, I shall win!".
Torino 2006 Opening Ceremony
Salt Lake 2002
A gathering with powerful symbolism
The turf inside the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium was substituted by a giant ice rink, covering a large part of the floor.
Salt Lake 2002 Opening Ceremony
Overcoming time and distance
In a strong display of unity, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" was performed with choruses coming simultaneously from Japan, Germany, South Africa, China, United States and Australia.
Nagano 1998 Opening Ceremony